tv KQED Newsroom PBS April 12, 2019 7:00pm-7:31pm PDT
. from immigration to cyber security. former homeland security chief, janet napolitano talks with us about how to keep america safe. also, physicians at the border. a court ruling asylum seekers deals another blow to the trump administration's immigration policies. and valerie jarrett. former senior adviser to president obama shares her journey from seegated chicago to the white house. hello and welcome to kqed newsroom. we begin with homeland curity. janet napolitano headed the department of homeland security under president obama from 2009 two 2013. when she took over, the l agenc wass than a decade old but responsible for a vast range of security challenges, including immigration, terrorism, cyber
security and natural disaster response. in her new book, "how safe are we," she surveys the secu threats and rising threats. she argues the most urgent threats are climate a change cyber security. joining me is former secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano. she currently heads the university of california system. nice to have you back on our program. >> thank you. >> i have to ask you about the chaotic week we have seen at the department of homeland security. secretary kirstjen nielsen resigned under pressure and one day later the director of the secret service was gone. what do you make of ths?e developme >> i think they're very worrisome. there are lotsof other vacancies in the leadership ranks of the department right now and this is a department which has massive responsibilities for the security of the country. so this kind of leadership instability i think should worry
us all. >> a key issue i immigration. border officials say they're seeing nearly 100,000 migrants e month atborder, and that surge isn't slowing down. om therehing to be said for president trump's need f hard line approach when he says that's exactly what we need right now? well, he's been pursuing a hard line approach for twoears now. and it's not working. and it doesn't work for a number of reasons. but the issues at the border now need to be dealt with differently. they need to be dealt with by a real strategy. not rhetoric. and what itquires is putting more man power at the border, putting more man a powerthe ports of entry, putting more immigration judges right at the border so that asylum claims can be processed fairly and expeditiously. >> what about his calls for constructing a border wall? >> no. a wall is a symbol.
it's not a strategy. and the notion that we're going to construct a wall across 1,940 miles of border, it's -- it's expensive. and it won't work. and that's the important thing. what will work is adding manpower, addg more technology, sustaining air cover across the border. that's a real strategy. under the obama adinistration, drove migration across the southwest border to 40-year lows and did it by having a multiprong strategy. ot a wall. >> speaking of technology, which you just brought up, your book is a report card of sorts on how the nation is doing on security. and in it you say one of the areas where we're very poorly is cyber security. covering everything from voting systems companies that have information on our banking data, our medical records. what should we be doing right now in the area of cyber ecurity and technology that
will help us protect the nation better? >> so cyber security is enormously excom. there are so many players. first of all you've got the federal government and lots of agencies in the federal government touch on cyber. you've got state and localities. you'v s got the privatetor that plays a very important role. and you have ou international allies and others, because as we know, cybe r doesn'tpect national borders. one of the things i recomme in the boo that we have a presidentially established commission that brings together the stakeholders. and i outline ten questions that such a commission should address. but wedeerately need more leadership in this area than we have seen to >> and you say the other biggest national security threat we're imfacing is cle change. you write, quote, the magnitude is universal.hr
theat is -- the threat likelihood is 100%. but we have a situation now where we have a president who doesn't agree with that. and who has vowed to pull outf t paris climate accord. so given the current political sittion, how do we go about mitigating the threat of climate change? >> well, i think we should address it in two ways. number one, the united states needs to play its part in climate the rate of change that already is occurring. that's why we should stay in the paris accords. but number two, we need to focus on adaptation to the climate change that already has occurred. and this gets down into some very pragmatic, wheaty subjects. where do we build our roads? how do we construct our bridges? what kinds of building materials do we use? how do we encourage the development of fire-wise communities in areas that are near these drought -- you know,
forests impacted by drought? you know, that whole question o adaptation is a function of really looking at the problems that are now and und standing thimate is actually a security risk, because it impacts the safety of tericans. >> aose are things that cities and states can do independent of the government. >> absolutely. and ought to be doing. and need to be doing it very intentionally. understanding that, you know,ve the sea are rising. i think of this every time i take off from the oakland airport and, you look o you know, where the water is next to the runway. but, you know, sea levels are rising on both coasts. we see the increasing frequency and intensity of weather events. landfallhurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires out west. we had a disastrous season last year in california. we need to do much more by way ofadaptation. >> yeah. let's switch gears and talk about the college admissions
scandal. both ucla and uc berkeley havee implicated. and last month you ordered an internal investigation. what are you finding so far? have you found any other uc campuses that are guilty of similarti aties? >> so first of all, i was so angry when thatse came down, because, you know, we rea to do admissions and turn a verq re corner so students are admitted on their merits, not because of some unduei luence. so our head of our audit office is conducting an investigation. we're currently mapping what each of thecampuses does by way of anything approaching special admissions, for example, poor threats or musicians or theater arts majors. and once we have that mapped where we identify areas of particular risk, we'll drill down even more thoroughly on those. w will there be any penalties
for the students are involved? >> you know, that will involve lookingat the fac of each individual student's case. did the student know, should the student have known that they were getting in based on an unfair influence? and so those students will looked at individually. >> and what are you doing now to tighten's own procedures to help prevent fraudulent ad fssions? >> sst of all, we have to identify, you know, where are the possible risks in the system. and that's what our investigation is aiedat identifying now. so just to be clear, students are evaluated basedn 14 criteria. then we have some categories.ng we have sometalled admissions by exception. this is for students who are otherwise eligible for the university. they could be homeschooled. they f could beom some rural
high schools that don't offer the requisite >> but you'll take those things into account. >> we can take those things into account. it's amaery, very number of our admitees. but we want to look at that. and then there's ahole category of special admissions. these are students who are egible for the university, but they get in because of a special talent. athletics, music, i already mentioned those kinds of things. that's a system that we also want to make sure is very tight. >> all right. janet napolitatho, head o uc system, and your new book out is called "how safe are we?" ngthank you so much for b here. >> thank you. moving on now to a deeperc on immigration, today the trump administration said it will seek an emergenc court order to keep sending migrants back to mexico while theirs asylum clae decided. earlier this week,al a feder judge in san francisco had temporarily halted that program. on wednesday, president trump traveled to texas, where a fund-raiser, and claims that
border crossings threaten the security of americans. meanwhile, hundreds of migrants are sowing up daily at the border, draining resources to detain them and processing their asylum claims. joining me now with a closoo at the immigration landscape are julian aguilar, immigration an border security reporter with the "texas tribune." he joinsia us skype from el paso, texas. feand a law por from santa clara university. nice to have both of you here. >> thank you for having me. >> julian, let's begin with you. you're there on the border. what have you seen there? is the tide of asylum seekers truly at crisis proportions as president says it is. >> the word crisis has been thrown around a lot and i think even now democrats are starting to adopt that term although they apply to humanitarians cri where supporters say it's a security and humanitarian isis. which enables them to push this sort of hard line security stance. but the numbers are definitely ncreasing. we saw even last week, a week and a half ago, where border
patrol was putting asylum seekers underneath the bridge. this ishe outside. had a military-style tent and folks sleeping outside. and they said that was because it was full. i talked to directors, nonprofit organizations, nongovernmental organizations that say they're scrambling to find shelters for these folks. so they're worried people will end up on the streets, you know, at the busta on, with no place to go. so -- >> professor, the trump administration is now asking for an emergency court order so it can continue to keep its policy of sending migrants back to mexico while they waei for asylum cases to be decided. so what is going to happen with the migrant now, given that there was another federal court order decision earlier this week the trump administration could not send them back to mexico? >> that's right. so on monday, art federal c judge said the trump policy, which is known colloquially as the not mexico policy, wouldn't
legal so the trump administration is asking a higher court to review it and is also asking that higher court to sete aside first court's ruling. but until that higher court makes that decision, the lower court rung stays in fect, which means the policy cannot be enforced. all right. still some uncertainty there. the trump administration, meanwhile, wants to tighten the rules around who can receive asylum and in theor past ay general jeff sessions suggested people should rarely be grant asylum based on domestic violence or gang violence claims. where does the current attorney general, william bar, stand on that? >> it's hard to know, with jeff sessions, the attorney general, he toohia case toelf. it's a very rare step for an attorney general to do. and in that case, he made a blanket ruling, essentially, that he thought that underneath the asylum standards, people fleeing from domestic violence or gang violence would not be able to make those claims. that -- his attempt to change the policy in that regard was overturned by a court, by a federal court. with regards to william barr,
it's not clear yet. when he wa attorney general under george h.w. bush, we're in a different time from the n ms coming oe recently, he's trying to implement policies to streamline the appeals process to make it quicker. to not allow i think the full processh rights asylum seekers might have. and so while he may not be implementing the same exact policy of sessions, it's clear also he is willing to take the hard line immigration stance. >> and so howuch of this situation we're currently seeing at the border, how much of that beyond the u.s. government's control, and how much of it is self-inflicted due t strict detention policies that have been put in place? >> right. i think one of the misconceptions that the federal government is laboring under, at least the trump administration, is that migrati and migration control at the border is something that the united states ly stop.ater the fact is, you have central american countries, especialrn the nort triangle countries,
el salvador, guatemala, honduras, at this point on the verge of being failed states, corrupt governnts, extreme violence. people are runningfrom extreme desperation. they need to travel 2,000 miles just to get to the border, some eith families. under th conditions, the number of people and families coming is unlily to be stopped by an enforcement-only policy. >> so detention is not aet rent. if they're willing to risk death to make these dangerous journeys. >> that's exactlyight. i mean, people make these journeys knowing there is a risk of death. knowing tho if they're going cross illegally, that is six, seven days in the dead oft, h in the desert, where people die and routinely die doing that. and yetthey're willing to do it. and so what has been proven over the last three, four years, if not even beyond that, is things li detention. family separation. family detention. these things -- policy is not going to deter asylum seekers. >> so the original court order
sbuys in place. julian, what does this mean then forhe asylum seekers who have already been sent back to mexico? >> from what i understand speaking to some of the attorneys with the aclu whoas argued this before the judge in california, those folks mexico g to be stuck in until their court dates. for example, i spoke to a family date is whose court april 25th. they are stuck until that. but my understanding is once they appear before the judge, they cannot be resent back to mexico. so they have to wait it out. unfortunately, some court dates are earlier t >> julian, the president has purged top leadership at the department of homeland security als senti sending mixed si out whether he'll revive the family separation program. do you have any indication aat th point as to who is leading immigration policy at the white house? >> well, the president took offense to the notion he was cleaning house and said it's all up to him. h but e seen him replace
high-ranking officials that, for example, a former secretary nielsen who apparently was not as tough as he wanted h to be immigration. so i think that's -- caused a lot of concern for the immigrmut rights cty that the person who put in place family separations wasn't quote, unquote, tough enoh for the president. so, you know, the president changes what he says from one day tohe nexto it could change by this time next week. >> and roughly three quarters of ofe immigrants being detained are held in for- facilities, in part because the government doesn't have enough room for them in government-run facilities. and last october, government inspectors released a scathing report about the conditions and the treatment of detainees at one of those facilities. what legal rights do the migrants have at the facilities, at the for-profit facilities? and how do they compare to those at ilgovernment-run fies? >> right. i mean, certainly what we see now is a greatncentive for the government to accomplish detention through the use of for-profit detention companies of the private companies.
part of the reason thgo ernment likes that is because then, one, they don't have the it, and bility of doing it gives them legal barriers to certain types ofle suits peo might bring. so with regard to the conditions in these place, right now we're starting to see some suits starting to make their way through state courts, some federl courts, about the conditions of confinement,yo which, asaid, government reports have already shown that the have been -- conditions there violate some basic ideas of how people should be held. buthat is part of th problem with the private detention center. one, it's a big driver ofur immigration enforcement system. and two, the conditions there are hard to monitor, hard to bring tont acc through litigation. >> but it also creates an incentive to keep people in detention if these are privately run, erfor-profit ce >> that's exactly right. i mean, if one wants to think about it, this is the private immigration detention industrial complex. and you can already see the
effects of it. there is currently a congressional mandate that congress is going to pay for rohly 35,000 immigration beds a night. people are trying to pus that to 50,000. you can bet that the major lobbyists for be from the private detention companies. >> julian, you'veed intervi asylum seekers at the border. there have been many shifting policies fromhe trump administration on immigration. what are you hearing from them aut their reactio to those policy changes and does that affect their decision on whether to cross the border? >> well, the decision is ultimately made up by the fact they can't le in those countries. a lot of folks saying, look, i've got to get out of central amera, it's too dangerous. but what sort of makes me feel better about it or makes them feel the time is right is the fact the smugglers know to tell them all theseolicies are on hold. the wall is coming up, so the time to get out thereof and seek asylum in the united states is now. >> juli aguilar, thank you very much.
and also thanks to professor deep gulasecuruon with san clara university. now to the life journey of former president obama's longest serving adviser. valerie jarrett stayed for both terms and was a long-time family confidante. before entering public service, she worked as a corporate lawyer while raising her daughter as a single mother. since then she has become one of the most influential african-american women of the 21st century. advocating for gender equality, civil rights and criminali ce reform. in her newng book, "fin my voice," jarrett sheds light on key moments of th obama presidency while also revealing timate details of her own life. valerie jarrett is now senior adviser to the obama foundation, and she joins me now. so nice thave you here. >> thank you. thank you. it's such a pleasure for me to be with you today. >> you had such an interesting childhood. your father was a pathologist and moved the family to iran in
the 1950s because there weremo e opportunities at that time in iran than in america for black doctors. you were born in iran. how has that experience of living overseas helped shape you? >> i think it shaped mesein ral ways. first of all, i grew up in a hospital compound with physicians' children from all over the world. so british, french, from the united states, you name it. iranian physicians. and we children all ayed together. and found ways of relating to one another, even though we came from different countries and erent languages. and so that's one thing. the other thing i think spending time outside of the uveted states you a better appreciation for all we have going us here. d it wasverything from clean water and food and not having to worry about certain diseases to our civil liberties. and the final thing i learned is that the ited states is the greatest country on earth. it's not the only country on earth. and we can learn a great deal beyond ourhores and i think the early years gave me a perspective on the world. and how w fit into the broader context. >> and president obama also
spent timeing up overseas. he came back to aerica. did that create a significant bond for the two of you when you first met h. in? >> it d in fact, the first it time the three of us had dinner, michelle robinson, barack obama and myself, they weren't even married. we bonded around the life exeriences of he and i and the three lessons i just explain wemilar to what he felt growing up in hisiv form years in indonesia. >> in your book, you talk about the racism and sexism you encountered in chicago where you practiced law before becoming a power player in city politics. how did those experiences affect the way you approach your role once you got to the white house? >> i think my early life, myna professlife, where i had a sense of feeling like an other and not necessarily welcome and not connecting with the people made me more deliberate about bringing peoplein and making them feel included.
and listening to the people aroundp me. ticularly with those who had different life experiences. it enriched my decisionmaking and made them feel as though they were part of a team. and the other thing i mrealized big law firm, it wasn't for me and i was miserable and i talk openly in my book about my marriage and it was.t fulfilli and i felt like a failure as opposed to it just didn't work out. and i think had to find that inner strength to be resilient and get back up on my feet. and i lo at myughter every day and i would say, go do something that's going to make her proud of you and step up to the plate and be a whole personk and not l for somebody else to complete you. and so in a sense, when things a fell apart, was the best thing that could have happened to me. it forced me outside of my comfort zone. and it made me appreciate the magic of the zigzag. the adventure of the zigzag. >> as opposed to a straight line. >> as opposed to the straight line i wasb on. it was somebody else's straight line. it wasn't my straight line. and i listened to the quiet o voice, th inside of you. and that's what motivated me to
join local government. >> let's talk a little bi the current administration. it's ruled back from key legislative achievements during the obama years. what are your thoughts on that? things likor the able care act, for example. >> well, i'm very concerned that the thought of repealing the affordable care act would leave 20 million americans withoutsu health ince. some who have it for the first time. one in two americans who have a preexisting condition would now beulnerable to losing their health insurance or seeing their premiums jacked up. hawomen who no access to preventive care without a co-pay. young people who can stay on their parents' plan until they're . nior citizens who were before the affordable care act cutting their drugs in half to make them stretch. so i really worry about what message are we sending to the people of our country that we would strip such an important benefit away from them? >> and i would like to ask you about the presidential asrace, well. joe biden was vice president under obama and you got to know hry well during the eight years you were there. he's now aase of inappropriate
contact with women. what are your thoughts about the allegations against him? >> i think he had it right when day, times s a new have changed and it's important for men to listen. and it isn't just what yourt t is. it's how is it affecting the person to whom it was directed. so i found that encouraging. i worked with him for eight years, day in and day out. he was a very important counselor to president obama, advis him on all matters, foreign and domestic so he was an integral part of our team. i think he and all of the other men out there need to appreciate the fact that times have changed. and having him speak out ton tht a message to other men as well. >> and some people, though, have suggested that, you know, times arst different now. nd that just doesn't fly any more and he sort of stopped short of completely apologizing. do you think his alleged behavior should disqualify him from runni for president? >> i think one of the great things about america is anyone can run. and it's up to the american people decide what's disqualifying and what's not. and the fact that we have -- this is early in the campaign.
in fact, he hasn't en jumped in the campaign yet. means we have time to get to know all of thecandidates. i think in the democratic field, we have an embarrassment of riches m there are sny outstanding candidates who are running and those who are consideringun ng. and i think he and everyone else, if he decides to run, gets to mariah carke their case dire the people. we get to decide. >> if you were a senior adviser to the 2020 presidential candidates now, what would you tell them? >> a few things. i've h privilege of speaking with some of them running. and my message has been the same. it's been be authentic, be optimistic aboutur country, explain why the american people should trust your vision and your ability to execute your vision. don't beat up the others in the primary so much that we go into the general election in a wounded state. the long view iswinning the presidency, not just the primary. and finally, i say that there is a differee between campaigning, where you try to grow your base and go after those folks andk spo them
and have bold ideas and yverning. whe have to be the president for all of america. and yt have to make sure t you are willing to compromise and that you don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. >> and as i was reading your book, it resonated with me personally. we talked about this, because i grew up somewherelse too in vietnam, came here as a refugee. i'm also a single mother. you were a single ther for very long time. more broadly, though, for the road audience, what do you hope readers will take away from reading your book? >> i hope that they will realize the importance of every voice. i hopethey'll learn to listen to their own voices and they will feel a sense of empowerment to use their voices to be a force for good for others. i think we're all inextricablyn linked i believe we have a responsibility in our community towards one and that i hope going forward what continues is what i have seen all over country, just amazingly ordinary people doing incredible things. and that comes from the sense of confidence that i can makeff a
rence. >> it is a very optimistic book. >> thank you. >> congratulations. >> thank you very much. voice."ing my always nice to have you here. hope to have you back. >> love being with you. and that will do it for us. as always, to find more of our coverage, you can go to kqed.org/newsroom. thank you for joining us.
robert: just how far will president trump go to address the migrant surge? i'm robert costa. welcome to "washington week." present trump confirms reports that his administration may transfer immigrant detainees to sanctuary cities. >> i think spying on a political campaign is a bal . it's a big deal. robert: and attorney general under firfrom democrats. after claiming u.s.ll inteigence agencies spied on he trump campaign. >> he is the attorney general of the united states of america. not the attorney general of donald trump. robert: all as the nation waits e mueller report. executive power. next.